For more than seventeen years, I've worked as a professional animal communicator; although I've had the pleasure to meet and help thousands of people and animals around the globe, I'm still often surprised how even the biggest animal-lovers out there can miscommunicate with their beloved pets.
Animals, whether domesticated or wild, captured or free, have the ability to tap into a person to understand, at a deeper level, what is really going on within them. Most people, however, overlook this innate skill in animals and instead rely only on the more basic senses to communicate their messages. Aggressive verbal commands, special training devices, and restraints are just a few of the ways we, as humans, try to control the animals around us. Animals really do have so much more to offer us, if we know how to listen and receive—and when we listen and receive well, we can avoid the miscommunication that is running rampant in today's human/animal relationships.
Animals have honed their intuitive abilities to help them survive in the wild. An elephant needs to sense when danger is coming from hundreds of miles away—and she can do that, not just through her trunk, but also through her knowing. A cheetah can sense a change in the energy that tells him his prey is near… and more. These "other" senses are well-developed in animals and part of their normal, every day lives—whereas for us… well… I have a whole business dedicated to helping people rediscover these abilities within themselves! It is because of these special skills that animals hold that animals have to much to teach us.
Here are some of the most common ways that, as a result of how animals are tuning in to you, you may be miscommunicating. As you read through the list, you may find that you were already subconsciously aware of these things happening; however, the real power comes from being cognizantly aware of these mis-cues.
What happens when you read the words, "pink elephant?" You immediately picture a pink elephant, right? This is because our brain creates images to go along with what we're saying or thinking. Just as easily as you can blink, animals connect to the pictures in your head. Whether you're talking about something or simply thinking about it, animals can "see" what you're seeing in your mind's eye. Now, if you don't know how to work with this, you can end up with a confused animal. For example, when you read the sentence, "Get off the sofa," you most likely immediately think of an animal on the sofa—which means, the animal you're talking to is going to receive a mixed message between your words and the visual inside your head. But when you, instead, make the words and picture in your head match by saying something like, "Go lay down on your bed!" you're now sending a message that makes sense and can be clearly understood.
One of the things that I've learned through my years as an animal communicator is the importance of transparency. If I'm unsure about intuitive information I'm receiving, I make sure to say this out loud to the person with whom I'm working. If I don't know how to interpret something, same deal. Many people, however, don't subscribe to the transparency theory and will present a face to the world that says they are happy/wonderful/satisfied, etc., when, on the inside they are feeling sad/worried/lonely/upset. This trait is particularly challenging for animals to understand as they tap into the emotions of each person they encounter. If you're feeling fearful on the inside and pretending to be happy on the outside, the animal tapping in to you is going to read you as untrustworthy. What are you hiding? Why are you behaving this way? Learning to match your outside and your inside will not only serve to strengthen the relationship with the animal in your life, but it will also positively affect the rest of your life as well!
Animals are actual mind-readers. Yes, it may sound crazy, but they can tap right in to what you're thinking about. And they understand what you're thinking about, too! When you're all wrapped up in your thoughts, re-hashing a conversation or something that happened at the store, the animal in your life knows it. But to an animal, whose very survival depends on being in the present moment, getting caught up in your thoughts is not a safe place to be. As a result, YOU will not feel safe to the animal. How does the animal choose to handle this mixed message (after all, you're not unsafe, you're just preoccupied!)? She chooses to do whatever she must do to get you into the present moment (and feeling safe again). For example, your cat may clue in to the fact that you're sitting in that chair re-hashing something that happened at work. To help bring your thoughts into a happier, healthier place, your cat may choose to pee on your foot or jump on your head. After all, the moment that cat lands on your head, you're not re-hashing work anymore, your thoughts are clear and present: get the cat off my head! To avoid the animal taking drastic steps to bring you into the present moment, watch your tendency to think about other things when you're with him. He'll thank you—and your pee-less foot will thank you, too.
Now that you know how in tune to your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and visuals the animals in your life are, it's time to take up a new type of responsibility in the relationship with your animal. Become conscious of what you say, and ensure that that matches the picture you're holding in your head. Work on transparency in your life, allowing the ick to be ick (and working through that) and celebrating the exciting moments. No one expects you to be perfect! Watch your thoughts as well. Know that the survival of animals in the wild is based on their ability to be present and in the here and now, and they are going to do whatever they have to do to get you present in the here and now as well. With these simple shifts in how you interact with your pet, you'll find that you can actually receive more love, more fun, and more comfort in that relationship than ever before!